Covid-19 lockdown

  • New figures show footfall in the country's four main cities fell by up to 90% at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown.

    Specialised counters used a key locations reported pedestrian numbers collapsing by 88% in Galway, 90% in Limerick, 83% in Dublin and 76% in Cork during the first weeks of the restrictions in March & April.

     

    According to figures provided by Galway City Council to the Irish Times, Galway city saw its pedestrian numbers fall from over 394,000 in the first week of March to less than 49,999 in the first week of April.

    While numbers have improved since, footfall is still almost 40% below pre-Covid levels, and 60% below the same period last year.

    Galway's worst week was the last week of July - traditionally the start of the Arts Festival and Galway Races - when 80% fewer pedestrians were in the city.

     

     

     

  • The Bank of Ireland has been accused of breaching rules designed to protect consumers by shutting branches during the Covid-19 lockdown, with little notice to customers.

    The bank shut 101 branches in March due to the pandemic, mainly in rural areas - including Ballyhaunis, Ballinrobe, Charlestown and Kiltimagh.

    They've since reopened since last week but some on a reduced hours basis.

    It has now emerged that the bank gave just 24 hours' notice that it was shutting what amounts to around 38pc of its total network.

    According to the Irish Independent, banks are required under the Central Bank's Consumer Protection Code to notify the Central Bank immediately and give customers two months' notice of the closure of a branch or branches.

    Social Democrat TD Roisin Shortall accused Bank of Ireland of a clear breach of the consumer protection code.

    She told Central Bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf at the Covid-19 Oireachtas Committee yesterday that the bank was required to give notice of branch closures.

    Ms Shortall said this was a clear breach of the code, and wanted to know if the Central Bank was going to hold Bank of Ireland to account so that there are no breaches in future.

    The governor said the bank had an obligation to its staff, but did not say if the bank was going to be sanctioned.

    Bank of Ireland said that the rapid emergence of Covid-19 in March meant that very quick measures had to be taken in order to protect the health of customers and staff.

  • Ireland's Covid-19 lockdown could last beyond April, with only schools and construction expected to be allowed reopen before March.

    According to the Sunday Independent, government's privately warning it could be summer before hospitality can open again while international tourism's being ruled out this year.

    The Cabinet will decide on reopening schools and construction in two weeks, however the decision will be based on reduced case numbers, ICU admissions and the number of vulnerable people vaccinated.

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    Local lockdown restrictions are being lifted in Kildare with immediate effect.

    The Government made the decision today following a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

    NPHET confirmed that the situation continues to improve in Kildare and is now broadly similar to that across the country.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says today's move was only  possible because of the people of Kildare - their extra effort, their sacrifices and their patience.

     

  • The Tánaiste says he can't promise that this lockdown will be the last, due to the continued emergence of variants.

    Leo Varadkar says most people think the cautious approach the Government is taking in the latest Living with Covid plan is the right one.

    Level 5 restrictions have been extended until April 5th while schools and childcare will begin reopening next week.

    The Tánaiste says Covid-19 cases are still too high for a further easing of restrictions...